Students in Leadership Conference Inspires Young Professional Women on Campus

Robyn Hynes, Science Editor

Black Hills State University, South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity, and Coeur Wharf Mine hosted Students in Leadership: Focusing on the Future, on March 28 at Black Hills State University in Spearfish. Nearly 20 young women and professionals attended the event.

BHSU Dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences Dr. Priscilla Romkema gave a seminar on the importance of emotional intelligence in the professional workplace. She described what she calls the “secret sauce to emotional intelligencea�� in five categories. Dr. Romkema’s presentation set an educational, yet lighthearted tone for the conference.

BHSU School of Business Assistant Professor Dr. Bobbi Looney presented a seminar that taught aspiring and current professionals how to network. She gave advice in the areas of self-branding, creating a professional social media presence, and how to converse properly. She included interactive exercises to help the audience network with one another.

BHSU Associate Professor of Marketing Dr. Wei Song gave a seminar that touched on global business ethics. She broke the ice with the audience by dancing and singing along to Taylor Swift’s song “Blank Space.” Dr. Song kept the students and professionals engaged for the hour-long presentation by debating the ethics of certain situations, designed to get students to contemplate, and then discuss their view of the given situation.

For the part of the seminar on “What Not to Wear,” BHSU’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) liaison Dr. Rachel Headley presented the audience with videos, visuals, and encouraging comments about how women should view their bodies both in and out of the workplace. Dr. Headley encouraged young professional women to dress for the career they want, not the one they already have.

The conference also featured BHSU’s student engagement program coordinator Erica Whitiker who taught the attendees how to give a proper handshake. Meg Manke and Abby Olson from Couer Wharf Mine gave a presentation on how different personalities can get along in the workplace. They also had the conference-goers identify their personality type by answering a questionnaire.

For more information on SD CEO’s Leadership series contact Director Helen Merriman at